Volume 23, Number 135,

Moonlight Ride
by Harold L. Webber

I rode out in the moonlight, trying to still my troubled mind
Maybe, to forget the terror of the battle, I had left behind
Dad and I had gone around, just like two angry hounds
The hurt that hid deep inside, seemed to have no bounds

I’d only tried to tell him, there may be a better way
But could we ever mend the tears, could I even stay
The ranch had been his home, and his Pa before my time
Mom was gone, just but a year, the loss still on his mind

Did I even know enough, of the struggles and the tears
Could I hold the spread together, they had built for years
The moonlight shone on the rocks, up on the mountain slope
It lit the way on a trail, that may just hold a little hope

Inside a white picket fence around a grassy spot
It held a cross that bore the name, that neither had forgot
A pony tied close beside the gate, its head was hanging low
A voice came from beside the grave, “How come you’re so slow?

Ma always stood between us, to stop us in our pride
Tonight she’ll do it once again, that’s why I took this ride”
I stepped down, tied up and walked inside the gate
Sat down close beside him, didn’t have too long to wait

“Son! You know I’m headstrong, that may be the reason why
This ranch has held together, beneath this big blue Alberta sky
I know you want to keep on going and not let me move to town
I don’t want to get in your way, don’t want to hold you down”

I leaned my head against his chest and held his gnarled hand
Just the way that he’d held me, when first, I tried to stand
“Dad, I need you here, to see me through each day
To hold me and the Wife, to not get lost along the way.”

Billy needs you too, to tell the stories of the past.
You’d sure be lost in town, everything moves so fast
Ellen needs you too, to hold that baby girl when she comes back
Now let’s go on home, Dad! I’ll help you into your kak

I’m sure glad, you got here first, the ride gave me time to think
I know Mom’s still watching us, more often than we ever think
This ranch would fall to pieces without you to set the pace
That breakfast table would be empty, if you’re not in your place

That shiny GM truck you drive, will get you in to coffee row
And Billy would be more than glad, to go along with you I know”
The moon was high above the rim as we rode into the yard
From the saddle I shook his hand and said, “Thank you Pard”

The ache was gone and peace was in my heart once more
And in bed I laughed aloud, as I waited for the other boot to hit the floor
Yes! Thank You Lord, for your care, Dad’s back home to stay,
In his room above, down on his knees, I could hear him softly pray

“Thank you, dear Lord, for the goodness of this your land
To live and work upon it, I pray we always make a hand
To grow a family up, the way I have, with help from you
Why! I can’t be prouder, the way that Kid has proved so true

I know that I’ve sometimes not been smart, or led the proper way
But that fight, sure touched my heart, I’m glad I let him have his way
The streets in town don’t interest me, but I just had to know
Did he really want me to stay, or did he want me to go!”